Meteor Shower vs Hot Shower.
Posted: Dec 14 in photography
“You’ll love it!”, “It’ll be incredible”, “a once a year, maybe once in a lifetime experience!” – just some of the things I was told as I found myself driving around dark and deserted country roads at 3am this morning.
We’d gone through our checklist….
Blankets – Check.
Sleeping bag – Check.
Flasks of coffee and soup – Check.
Sandwiches – Check.
Chocolate and sweets – Check.
Camera – Check.
and with that we were on the road. Destination? Somewhere with no clouds. Reason? A Meteor shower!
“Better than a hot shower?” I asked. “Definitely!” was the reply. We’ll see.
With the Geminid meteor shower expected to peak that night and considered by many to be the best meteor shower of it’s kind it was expected to produce up to 140 meteors an hour! “Not to be missed” – I was told.
We had a bit of difficulty at first finding somewhere that would remain cloud free. First stop was Maynooth Hockey club as we thought it’d be nice and dark on the pitch – and it was. However, no sooner were the blankets on the ground and gazing begun when the clouds found their way to us and so we packed up and decided to move on.
After some help from internet weather reports and a sat nav we found ourselves on the road between Killcock and Summerhill. The sky was perfect. We seemed to have found this huge hole in the clouds that gave us a perfect view of the heavens. We pulled into a lay-by and with the blankets on the bonnet it wasn’t long before they started whizzing by from all angles. It was pretty incredible I have to say.
I set up the camera and tripod and aimed it at an area of the sky that was pretty clear, plugged in my shutter remote and left it to expose for as long as I thought I could get away with. After 37 minutes I had a look. Here’s the result.
No meteors were captured but just look how much those stars have moved in such a short space of time. Incredible.
I didn’t take anymore. I’m going to blame traffic build up (their lights flared up the sky every few minutes and during long exposures that kind of ruins things) – that and because it was flipping freezing and all I wanted was sit on top of the warm bonnet and not move, except to point to the sky every so often and shout “wwwoooooaaaahhhhh there’s one!”.
It was a great night I have to say – It probably looked very odd to any passing traffic – two weirdos sitting on the bonnet of a car pointing frantically into the sky. At one point a garda officer pulled in to ask if we were okay – I’m pretty sure he was wondering if we’d run into car trouble but with hindsight maybe he was enquiring if we were okay in the head…. To which my answer would have been “No – I’m with you officer, this is not wise.”
Better than a hot shower? I’m still thinking about it.